Categories
Poetry

Adjourned

Damn those little murders,
those small infractions
to which we pay no mind
save for the evidence markers
placed at the foot of the moment
this, here, remember.

Wise or not wise we file them away
in a box called Misdemeanors
until the shelf bends and breaks
and proof bears witness;
only then do we see the trail of blood
from that first red flag
to a catalog of minor injuries
and shallow stab wounds,
enough to leave us only hobbled,
the walking wounded.

In court, they’d present the facts
prove we didn’t plan for this
to any known degree;
a crime of accident and
unintended consequences;
suggest Self-Defense,
and we’d both just nod to agree.

Poem ©2021, Jen Payne.
Categories
Creativity Poetry

A Pandemic Reflection

It’s hard to hide from yourself
in a pandemic, day in day out
living without distractions,
your reflection suddenly more real
reveals the things you forgot,
like age
or your grandmother
stooped over the sink too,
her familiar refrain
your familiar refrain
Oh god, you wake one morning
realize this is the same day, again
day in day out day in day out
and not just because of some virus
but because you, YOU have
worn down a path from the bed
to the bath to the sink
where you stoop now
see your reflections in the mirror
as the sun rises and the birds sing
and trickster fox laughs from the yard
laughs at you, your bucket list,
your not-now-someday-maybe,
that wisp of gray descending
so long you can’t ignore.

Poem ©2020, Jen Payne. Image: Mirror II, George Tooker. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.
Categories
Creativity Poetry

Oh for this company of a cat

She assumes the thin space
between me and the keyboard,
in front of anything I had to do right now,
her tail swooped against my hand resting
on the mouse that does all of the work.

I think to push her away but
her fur is soft and comforting
something to hold and touch,
her breath is purry and hypnotic,
and she is patient in her morning
meditation or prayer, insistence

here, this next day in the series of days
we keep together in this space
she in her routine and I in mine
like yesterday and its day before
or tomorrow and its day after
we assume, god and virus willing,
oh, for the company of this cat

So I just let go of my things to do,
wrap both arms around and
lean into her small warm body
as it expands and contracts
gently against my chest,
snuggle my face into the sweet
spot she loves between her ears
at the top her head, close my eyes
and listen to her breath, and mine
this singular hug of the day.

Photo and Poem ©2020, Jen Payne. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.
Categories
Creativity Poetry Travel

Retreat by Proxy

If not the respite
of the ocean now,
the Cape,
her wide wild shore
then this

this
sun rising here
and gulls,
not the same but
still

but still a sky, brilliant
and breeze
maybe even waves
if I wait

and if

if I am quite enough

the buoy offshore
rings

the ocean in a shell
marks time

Photo and Poem ©2020, Jen Payne. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.